WYN reflects on exciting collaborations and activities at Stockholm World Water Week 2018

WYN reflects on exciting collaborations and activities at Stockholm World Water Week 2018

WYN participation at the Stockholm World Water Week 2018

Water Youth Network promoted youth involvement in the water sector and inter-generational dialogue at the recently-held SIWI World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden.

By: Maria Wunsch de Alvarenga  (m.alvarenga@wateryouthnetwork.org) and Sebrian Beselly ( s.beselly@wateryouthnetwork.org)

We have also developed a full SWWW2018 participation report, check it out here.


During the week of 26-31 August 2018, the Water Youth Network (WYN) participated in SIWI (Stockholm International Water Institute) World Water Week 2018/ SWWW 2018. This time, the WYN organized/co-organized several sessions related to youth during the week: 3 sessions that were included in the official schedule and 3 activities at the booth, as well as side events to engage and promote youth involvement in water-related problems and connect with senior professionals.


It was a great honour for WYN to represent youth in this world event and to organize sessions along with well-known names in the water sector.  Our contribution in SWWW 2018 shows that youth, who represent 40% of the total world population, have the skills, knowledge and capability to solve water-issues, by sitting together with water leaders, discussing and formulating solutions as well as creating concrete steps to solve this world problem. Youth contribution in the 2030 SDGs is equally important.


WYN activities during SIWI World Water Week 2018 


Scheduled Sessions:

Young Professional Day: Global Vision to Local Reality

Little Theatre, Sunday 26th August 9:00-10:30 AM and 11:00-12:30 PM



At the two-part session during the Young Professionals Day, WYN led the session on “Global Vision to Local Reality” along with partners – SIWI, Swedish Water House, and Arup. This session saw over 100 young professionals actively contributing to the discussion about the interlinkages between the Sustainable Development Goals and ideas on water actions that can be implemented at the local and household levels.


Can Valuing Water Change Our Attitude towards Water? Concrete Examples!

NL Auditorium, Sunday 26th August 2:00-3:30 PM



We had a strong presence during the High-Level Panel on Water session “Can Valuing Water Change our Attitude towards Water? Concrete Examples!”. WYN President, Shabana Abbas, co-moderated the session and engaged those present to share examples from their regions. WYN members actively introduced interventions and comments throughout the session and after each presentation.


Trade-offs and Synergies Between The Sustainable Development Goals

Folkets Hus 307, Thursday 30th August 4:00-5:30 PM




The session “Trade-offs and Synergies Between The Sustainable Development Goals” was mainly organized by WYN. Kelly Fouchy (WYN) opened the panel followed by Michael McClain (IHE Delft), Monica A. Altamirano (Deltares), and Kidanemariam Jembere (Global Water Partnership Southern Africa). The session presented 3 case studies on trade-off and synergies between SDG in River Basin level, followed by a World Café session in 3 groups discussing the trade-off between SDGs and how to achieve the synergies between them. Through the three cases (Mara River Basin with water allocation plan, Jalaur River Basin with IWRM concept, and SADC with WEF-Nexus) it was explained how limited water resources can be used, mainly by focusing on the demand-supply relations. In order to achieve synergy, all related SDGs must be treated well and fairly. Also engagement with the local community and local government must be carried out properly. Since political pressure is always present in the regulatory process, political leaders/agency above the minister have an important role in helping to compile and collaborate on the River Basin Plan. Those actions are necessary because cross-sectoral organizations with various interests will be involved in the planning.


Booth Activities:

Alongside the scheduled sessions with partners, WYN also organized several booth activities. These booth activities were designed to involve youth directly with WYN and topics in water issues.


Young Professionals Booth: Transboundary Competition

The question “What is YOUR idea to engage youth in transboundary issues?” was the initial point for a competition of suggestions made by visitors to the booth. The WYN explained the competition, sometimes clarifying the topic for those who were new to it. Good discussions were held and the best idea, from Caterina Marinetti, was chosen: She suggests to set-up partnerships between universities in transboundary issues and launch a competition called “Youth Engagement across Countries”. The winner of this competition becomes an ambassador and starts an exchange programme at the partner university.




Young Professionals Booth: Knits & Knots Supporting Human Development

Norra Latin Exhibition Area, All Day



At the Young Professionals Booth, WYN developed the knits & knots activities. In this activity, young professionals were encouraged to mark their work or home places on the world map, which was bonded to the last place marked with a line, constructing a network around the globe. The visitors were also invited to share their visit cards and check on the table for new partners and colleagues. The idea behind it was to demonstrate that water is a physical connector that flows across borders and through ecosystems and beyond. There are also non-physical connectors such as human bonding and the use of technology. The knots symbolise those interactions, for example through agreements like the 2030 Agenda, treaties, laws, and research papers.


You-Know! Platform Re-Launch

Norra Latin Exhibition Area, 1:00 PM




During the lunch break, WYN re-launched the You-Know Platform (Youth-driven Knowledge in Water). This platform is a showcase on youth projects and youth organisations on an interactive world map – thus documenting youth actions, inspiring, developing and disseminating knowledge, creating networks between youth leaders and connecting these local experiences to global efforts related to the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030. The YouKnoW! platform has been newly designed. Now projects and organisations appear in the same map and can directly feature all social media channels, pictures and information related to the project and organization in a new and user-friendly design.


Netherlands Water Partnership Booth: The Ultimate Pitch

Folkets Hus Exhibition Area: Thursday 30th August 1:00-2:00 PM




At the Ultimate Pitch, WYN invited youth entrepreneurs to introduce their project and address their pitches to three professional judges (Soma Ghosh Moulik from the World Bank Group, Ingeborg Krukkert from IRC, and Thomas Bjelkeman-Pettersson from akvo.org), who gave their feedback and comments on improving pitch and the project quality. The best pitch was from Cesar Maldonado and Sonita Mbah. The winners won the book “Too big: Rebuild by design: a transformative approach to climate change”, from our partner Henk Ovink, Special Envoy for International Water Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.


Side Events:

The Intergenerational Coffee Club

The Muffin Bakery, Tuesday 28th August 08:00-09:00 AM




The Intergenerational Coffee Club was an informal gathering between young and senior water professionals during breakfast. During the informal chat, information was exchanged on work activities, some insights on the seniors’ experiences, and also very useful career advice was shared.


Networking events:

WYN members were present at some networking events in the evening of the SWWW days: “Young Professionals Mingle” at Boqueria on Sunday, “Welcome Cocktail Reception” at the City Hall on Monday, “Joshua’s mingle” on Wednesday and “Dance mingle” on Thursday. More than networking with people recently met or sharing contacts, those were great moments in which we interact with other Water Youth Network members and had a lot of fun together, learning more about each other in an informal and relaxed environment.



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